It was named in 1506 by Portuguese sailors who put ashore for provisioning on their way to India. Pirates and French corsairs have used the islands as a refuge.
In 1598, the Dutch occupied the islands.
On 12 February 1662, the East India Ship Arnhem ran aground on the Saint Brandon Rocks. Volkert Evertsz, the captain, and other survivors of the wreck survived by piloting a small boat to Mauritius, and are thought to have been the last humans to see live dodos. They survived the three months until their rescue by hunting “goats, birds, tortoises and pigs” Evertsz was rescued by the English ship Truroe in May 1662. Seven of the survivors chose not to return with the first rescue ship.
Mauritius and its associated islands were colonised by the French in about 1715, granted by the King of France to the Compagnie des Indes in 1726 but retroceded to the French Crown in 1765. In the book ‘The history of Mauritius, or the Isle of France, and the neighbouring islands; from their first discovery to the present time’ (1801) by Charles Grant, the author quotes from his father’s papers that “The bank of Corgados Garayos was, in 1742, the first object of the researches made by the boat named the Charles, and the tartan the Elizabeth, dispatched from the Isle of France (Mauritius) by order of M. Mahe de la Bourdonnais, at that time Governor of it. These two vessels having made it on the 27th of August, anchored there, and traced a plan of it, by which it is represented in the form of a horse-shoe, and of six leagues in extent, running north-north-east and south-west. These two boats not having been on the north side, and, consequently, not having perceived the isles which lay off it, its small extent, and the affinity of its latitude and longitude with that of Saint Brandon, on which an English vessel, called the Hawk, (le Faucon) was stranded on her return from Surat to Europe, induced me to consider it as one and the same shoal” Saint Brandon was referred to as ‘Cargados’ in Samuel Dunn‘s world map of 1794.